Tutorial – Fireworks

I know that fireworks are a common way to usher in the new year, or perhaps they are used to celebrate the end of the old year… Either way they seem to show up in most celebrations. So I knew that I wanted to have them in the background for my New Year’s celebration photo shoot. I did a quick google search and didn’t find anything on how to make faux fireworks without the use of Photoshop, but to be fair my search was about two seconds long and then I went to do something else. During that time I had two ideas to produce fireworks.

The first was quickly shelved as I thought it would be time consuming and fiddly. I had thought it might be possible to use fairy lights and tinsel to create the effect.

The second was a lazy method of making this firework effect and this is the method that I used and it worked super well.

What you will Need

  • A picture of a firework (Not absolutely required if you are artistic)
  • Black poster board or cardboard
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Hobby knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Projection Light

Step 1: I found a picture of a firework exploding in the sky with a Google image search.

Step 2: I inverted the image in Photoshop. This turned the night sky to white, and the bright burst of color to black – this saves on ink when printing the image out.

Step 3: I resized the image to what I needed for the shoot and I printed it out. fireworks001Step 4: I found the desired placement for my picture on the poster board and taped the top of the picture to the poster board so the image would not shift.

Step 5: I glued down the image making certain to cover the surface well.

Step 6: I then used the hobby knife to cut along the lines of the firework. It is at this point you will be happy that you glued down your image or you may experience paper tearing, or shifting that would make this process difficult.

  • Be certain to use your cutting mat or you will end up cutting onto your surface and no one wants that.
  • Also I recommend taking breaks in between or having a great hobby knife that doesn’t hurt your fingers when using
  • Note that in my example I did not follow all of the lines, nor did I make my cuts thick to match those on the image, but you could if you wanted to.

fireworks002Step 7: With everything cut I set up my paper for my photo shoot. I placed the sheet between the wall and my tripod box and taped the other side to a Cu-poche box, but you can stand up your cardboard whichever way you’d like.

Step 8: Turn on your projection light. My light is from Walmart and was under $20, and if your local Walmart still has some now you’d likely get it at a discount as it is the end of season. This light is a multicolour one that has a “turning, swirling light” I think it works well for fireworks, but I would think any of these projection lights would work.

fireworks003Step 9: Time to take pictures.fireworks004So depending on how you focus your camera, how thick you’ve cut your lines, and how you angle your paper your results will differ.newyears009You can tell my by lack of step by step photos on how to make this project that I did not really have much confidence that this project would work, but remarkably it did.